Feline Asthma and Respiratory Conditions 

Information from Trudell Animal Health, manufacturers of the “AeroKat Chamber” 


Just like us, there are many triggers that can cause poor respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, in cats. Whilst coughing can be ‘normal’ in the instance of passing a hairball, an increased regulatory of the reflex, without the presence of a hairball, may be a sign of an underlying condition. In fact, it is said that as many as 1 in 100 cats have asthma, a statistic that is believed to be underestimated!  


What causes a cat to cough?  

Coughing is a protective reflex of the body to clear an irritated or obstructed airway. Irritants such as dust and mucus are common examples. Whilst the act of coughing is not considered a disease itself, it may be indicative of other health conditions, such as asthma, respiratory infections, heartworm, allergies, parasitic conditions, or a disease of the respiratory tract.  


How can I get my cat diagnosed? 

Veterinary advice is always mandatory for correct and accurate diagnosis. However, being prepared with notes or records of the symptoms you have observed with your cat can assist greatly in the diagnosis. Noting breathing intensity and speed, as well as lethargy and any extension of the neck whilst coughing can all be used for diagnostics. Frequent wheezing and open mouth or laboured breathing can also be common symptoms. Providing a video can also be extremely helpful!  

Questions your vet is likely to also ask may include; 

  • How long have the symptoms persisted?  
  • Is the cough wet or dry? 
  • Are there any other symptoms or behaviour besides the cough? 
  • Does your cat go outside? 
  • Has your cat received parasitic worm protection? 
  • Is your cat more lethargic than usual?  


Are there treatment options? 

The inflammation to the lungs triggered by conditions such as feline asthma and chronic bronchitis, can be managed with medication and proper attention, to ensure your cat can enjoy a normal playful life. The most routinely prescribed medication is Corticosteroids, which come in both inhaled and injectable forms. In devising the treatment plan most suitable for cat, your vet will discuss the points associated with the use of either inhaled or injected Corticosteroids.  


What is an AeroKat Chamber? 

For administering inhaled steroids to your cat, your vet may issue you with an AeroKat Chamber. This chamber is much like the spacers used for asthma in young children, assisting the targeted delivery of inhaled medication to the lungs.  

The AeroKat Chamber features a non-stick mask, which is soft, won’t pull on fur and is sized appropriately for cats (with small and medium options available). Its exclusive Flow-Vu indicator and low resistance valve allows for high accuracy administration, which keeps medication in yet is sensitive enough for your cats’ inhalation flows. The AeroKat Anti-Static Chamber also allows for a longer medication holding time, meaning as much as 69% more medication is available for inhalation, when compared to a non-antistatic chamber. This of course reduces drug wastage!  


How to use an AeroKat Chamber? 

The AeroKat Chamber can be used to administer inhaled steroids in 4 easy steps. 

  1. Shake the inhaler and insert into the back of the chamber, ready for discharge. 
  1. Gently apply the mask so that it covers the nose and mouth, but not the eyes. 
  1. Press the inhaler. 
  1. Watch the Flow-Vu indicator and count 7-10 breaths.  

If you cat is sensitive to noise, steps 2 and 3 can be switched! 

Prefer a video? Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FADkp1cr3lQ  


How can I source a AeroKat Chamber?  

AeroKat Chambers are proudly distributed in Australia by Ranvet. They can be purchased from your Vet, some local pet stores or pet chemists, or directly from the Ranvet website https://www.ranvet.com.au/products/aerokat-3/  

One AeroKat Chamber comes with the chamber and a small and medium size nonstick mask. Replacement masks are also available for purchase.  


For more information on the AeroKat Chamber please visit  https://www.trudellanimalhealth.com/cats/using-aerokat  


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